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Malaria drug resistance: the impact of human movement and spatial heterogeneity.

Abstract

Human habitat connectivity, movement rates, and spatial heterogeneity have tremendous impact on malaria transmission. In this paper, a deterministic system of differential equations for malaria transmission incorporating human movements and the development of drug resistance malaria in an [Formula: see text] patch system is presented. The disease-free equilibrium of the model is globally asymptotically stable when the associated reproduction number is less than unity. For a two patch case, the boundary equilibria (drug sensitive-only and drug resistance-only boundary equilibria) when there is no movement between the patches are shown to be locally asymptotically stable when they exist; the co-existence equilibrium is locally asymptotically stable whenever the reproduction number for the drug sensitive malaria is greater than the reproduction number for the resistance malaria. Furthermore, numerical simulations of the connected two patch model (when there is movement between the patches) suggest that co-existence or competitive exclusion of the two strains can occur when the respective reproduction numbers of the two strains exceed unity. With slow movement (or low migration) between the patches, the drug sensitive strain dominates the drug resistance strain. However, with fast movement (or high migration) between the patches, the drug resistance strain dominates the drug sensitive strain.

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